The truth about IGF-1?
This is from anabolicextreme forums it seems to have burst my IGF-1 bubble ! It looks like its just an expensive waste of time.
I feel like I ought to offer some more thoughts, with respect to IGF-1.
I begin by saying that I've used the stuff on myself, under several different regimens. But, more importantly, I've now worked with quite a number of other athletes, using IGF-1. In these situations, I've had control over the dosage, administration, and diet. And I've prepared the IGF-1 injectable under standardized conditions, using appropriate buffers. I would receive regular reports and observations from the users. While I do not consider my data to have a sample size which would stand a test of statistical validity, my data base is larger and better quality than the individual anecdotal observations seen in board threads.
There are a tremendous number of issues, not directly related to IGF response, and I'll discuss them, first.
There are a number of boards which are seen as authorities for good information, yet are polluted by members and mods who are directly connected with IGF dealers. Furthermore, there are buyers who have been induced to act as shills. These people never identify their roles, and they have completely muddied the waters with their hype and outright lies. For example, I know of one guy who is an IGF powder middleman, and he has managed to get himself known as an IGF "expert", even though he has absolutely no science background. He goes around from board to board belching out some of the most absurd hype I've ever seen, all the while hustling people to buy their IGF from the company he sells his powder to.
Then there are the ones who have some decent knowledge, but have gotten their knowledge all mixed up. In that thread cited, above, from the Cutting Edge Muscle board, one member posts about how good he thinks IGF is, then he offers a proposed ideal diet for maximizing the effect of IGF. Well, if you look at that diet, you will realize that you can do that diet, and put on 5-6 pounds easy, and not use any IGF-1! It's the diet that is making you grow, not the IGF!! Just ridiculous!!! Anyone should be able to see through that sort of nonsense, yet IGF is seen as such a "Holy Grail", that things like this are overlooked.
Another class of post is by those who don't fully understand what is happening, when they use IGF-1. Yes, some legit research has shown that IGF can multiply muscle fiber. But it is clear to me that the bulk of the response to IGF comes from it's ability to act as a sensational glucose disposal agent. This is the part where IGF's name, "Insulinlike", comes to the fore. IGF can send you into ketosis with ease. Good responders to IGF are hungry all the time, because the blood glucose is held low. All that glycogen is being driven into the muscles. The frequent reports of muscle fullness and vascularity is the result of muscles being pumped full of glycogen and water.
There is too little mention of the non-responders to IGF-1. They definitely exist. But identifying the percentage of them in the population is difficult, due to the way most IGF is being sold. I'll discuss that, next.
The business is rife with misinformation on how to properly prepare the IGF-1 for use. The ONLY proper way to rehydrate IGF-1 for use, where it will be at full strength and activity, is with an aqueous buffer solution, which has the proper pH and ionic(salt) content. However, it is not easy or safe for the average user to prepare such a buffer, and access to the raw materials is limited.
A couple of years ago, Animal concocted the idea of dissolving the IGF he was selling, in some BA. He perhaps did not have access to the proper buffer materials, and he came up with this idea, in order to promote his business. Well, it sort of worked. But some, if not most, of the IGF is rendered useless by this method, since you need the correct pH and ionic environment for the peptide chains to unwind. In the end, you have to use a lot of IGF, just to get the effect which you would get, if you had properly rehydrated it with a buffer. In my work, using a proper buffer, the maximum dosage per day is 30 mcg. But I've seen good results on only 15 to 20 mcg's per day. It is typical for users with the Animal type product to have to use 50 to 120 mcg per day, to see any effect at all.
Still another absurd notion is that you do not have to refridgerate the IGF in BA. I have seen some idiot "experts" recommend that "IGF-1 works better if you store it in your sock drawer".
Now, I'm a chemist, and I've worked in biochem labs, and seeing all this online nonsense about preparing IGF really makes me crazy. But, let's use a little common sense. Both IGF-1 and hGH are chain sequenced peptides. So, they are in the same family. Now, we all know that you rehydrate GH with an aqueous solution and we must store it under refridgeration. Yet, these "experts" say we can reconstitute IGF-1 with BA and it does not require any refridgeration. I ask you, have any of you ever seen anyone recommend that we reconstitute GH with BA, and that we not store it under refridgeration? I certainly never have. It seems to me that this would be a real breakthrough, right? Not a single legit biochemist has ever advocated the BA method for preparing chain sequenced peptides. Again, I have never seen one of these online "experts" advocate using BA for preparing GH, yet GH and IGF-1 are in the same family. Now, doesn't that tell you something??
So, you may begin with some active IGF in these BA preparations, but you end up with less and less, as it degrades.
Then there is the shipping. Ever wonder why we don't buy hGH in reconstituted form? Aside from having to keep it cold, all the shaking and agitation, which goes on in shipping and transportation, would destroy the peptide chains. Yet these "experts" say there's no problem in selling and transporting IGF-1 in liquid form. Are we to believe that BA creates some wondrous, new, indestructable environment for peptide chains?
So, now we go a step further. We begin with some active IGF in the BA preparation, but it degrades, and then we ship it, and then we lose still more and more.
By the time you end up with it, in your hands, there is little or no active IGF-1. So, now, how do we determine who is a IGF non-responder, and who simply has gotten a ruined bottle of IGF-1? How do we determine the full range of response in the population, when the IGF-1 in the field is of random strength and unknown concentration?
All these problems make a complete assessment of the true worth of IGF-1 very difficult. The buyer thinks he has 1000 mcg per ml of IGF-1, when, in reality, he has much less, maybe even none.
It is my contention that much of the weight gain, seen by IGF-1 users, is water. Their muscles appear to be growing, but it is glycogen and water. Some will respond in extreme. I had one user put on almost 15 pounds. All water! Three days after his IGF cycle ended, the water was gone, and so was the weight gain. So, we are mostly seeing bloat, to a greater or lessor degree, rather than spectacular muscle growth. This accounts for all the stories of giant pumps, while training on IGF-1.
I'm not convinced that there is really significant muscle growth. But I am convinced that there is bodyfat loss. As I mentioned, if your carbs are low enough, IGF-1 will get you into ketosis quickly, and then bodyfat loss will proceed accordingly.
IGF-1 is not useless. IGF-1 is, at present, a very specialized tool. I think it's best use comes with bulking. Through its very powerful glucose disposal effect, a responder is always hungry, and the nutrition is pumped into the muscles. People who have difficulty eating while bulking, may find that they have fewer problems packing in that food. But, if you're an ectomorph, that will result in a much greater food demand, since you will need to eat more to compensate for the loss in blood glucose. You will most certainly have to eat in the middle of the night, due to hunger.
IGF-1 is also useful while cutting, but it really makes you crave carbs, and, if you're not interested in going keto, then you end up having to eat more carbs than you would, otherwise. The glycogen pumping effect is anti catabolic, however.
But that's about it, as far as I'm concerned.
If you are to make the best use of IGF-1, then the preparation of the buffer will be a serious handicap. The starting materials are not easy to obtain, and the handling and storage of these chemicals is dangerous and difficult. If you prepare the buffer with the wrong pH, then you will completely destroy the IGF-1, the moment you add it to the buffer. You better know what you are doing, and have the correct equipment with which to do it.
There are so many more cost effective and productive ways to spend your money on muscle building, than with IGF-1. If you're adventurous, done plenty of research, and have a wad of cash, then go ahead and give it a try. But IGF-1 is not the Holy Grail of bodybuilding.
Take care, MT
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